The IPI bunkhouse in Tacloban City, one of the temporary shelter sites built by the government, shelters over 500 families but as of September 2015 – after almost two years since ‘Yolanda’ – just a hundred families have been transferred to permanent shelters built by the National Housing Authority (NHA).
If Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman is to be believed, there will no longer be bunkhouses in Tacloban City by the end of October. “These aren’t safe so we’ll remove them,” she said in an article published on The Standard last October 29.
“It’s funny how Soliman only recognized that bunkhouses are not conducive for living two years after Yolanda. Her delayed realization already caused at least two deaths in IPI bunkhouse in Tacloban—an old man who died of heatstroke while a baby died of pneumonia,” Marissa Cabaljao, People Surge (alliance for disaster survivors) said. “Soliman is under the illusion that she could cover-up the real state of Yolanda survivors by pronouncing that everything is going fine and dandy. As if she could pacify the dissent of Yolanda survivors by the promise of relocation, Yolanda survivors’ actual experiences tell that relocation is snail-paced and any promise from the mouth of Soliman is just difficult to believe,” she added.
According to the data from the National Housing Authority (NHA), only 534 permanent houses out of the targeted 13,801 houses have been built as of September this year. At the rate that the construction of permanent houses are built, Soliman’s pronouncement may end up as yet another empty promise and a continuation of the government’s chronic lie.
Soliman, who is part of the notorious ‘Gang of 5’, has also defended Liberal Party’s Presidential bet Mar Roxas from accusations of using disaster funds for electoral purposes. With the huge amount of donations which came in and the drastic increase in lump-sum calamity fund for 2016, it is enough to make us doubtful if the disaster funds will be used as intended.
Soliman, who is an appointee of President Noynoy Aquino, is expected to support whoever will tread his boss’ “daang matuwid.” “We have long called to frustrate the ambition of Liberal Party Presidential bet Mar Roxas, President Aquino’s descendant. We have long called to hold accountable the so-called ‘Gang of 5’ which includes no less than DSWD Secretary Soliman.
Her deliberate attempt to cover-up the Yolanda situation and act as an apoligist of Roxas add up to her long list of sins to the Yolanda survivors,” Cabaljao stressed. People Surge is expected to lead a big protest action on November 6 to demand accountability and call for climate justice in time for the second anniversary of Yolanda.#
Alliance for Disaster Survivors
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